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Quality

From power to energy rating, for a better choice of PV module

A new report published by the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS) outlines the need for PV module standards and testing to focus on ‘energy rating’ – an estimate of actual performance in a variety of climate conditions, rather than nominal power output or efficiency. The report finds that the IEC and other standards bodies are already beginning to make encouraging moves in this direction, but more work, and more data, are needed to make the most out of this approach.

DNV GL’s Battery Scorecard 2020 sees manufacturers focus on LFP and fire safety

The third annual scorecard published by the consultant has tested 22 batteries with different chemistries for cycling stability and temperature-dependent behaviour and identified significant product trends.

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Shifting directions in PV mounting solutions

Solar photovoltaic mounting firm, Premium Mounting Technologies (PMT), was founded by industry veteran Peter Grass in 2012. The company is now shifting gears – in leadership and technologies. Sitting down with the company’s installation partner Solartechnik Dresden’s CEO, Steffen Hesch, the two discussed new business models and changes in solar.

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New three-step module testing from TÜV Rheinland

German standards body TÜV Rheinland is introducing a new testing and certification program for pv modules. The program incorporates component specific tests and ongoing, random testing of running production lines. Hanwha Q Cells assisted in the development of the program, and this week announced it is the first manufacturer to receive the new Quality Control PV Certification.

pv magazine video: How quality can lower solar risk and insurance rates

This year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable USA looked at extreme weather, and how resiliency can be built through modern O&M. Representatives from DuPont, Stäubli, Nextracker and RETC took to the virtual stage to discuss weather-related damages, and how to harness quality materials and workmanship to industry’s advantage, particularly when it comes to insurers. Ariel Re and NovaSource, meanwhile, looked at issues like risk management insurance solutions and asset stabilization. Case studies and presentations on the field performance of PV modules, and extreme hail and fire, were also included.

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Holistic approaches to reliability

A new report published by the European Technology and Innovation Platform outlines the need for continuing research into the reliability of PV systems and components, and for the collection and sharing of performance data. The report recommends a holistic approach to reliability, going beyond current testing standards to identify new degradation mechanisms, and making use of sensors and drone imaging to monitor systems in the field to prevent and report on system failures.

German researchers identify source of impurities in multicrystalline silicon

Scientists from Fraunhofer IISB, Wacker Chemie and Alzchem say unwelcome metals enter the silicon primarily through coating of the quartz crucible. The finding could enable manufacturers to make predictions about the quality of silicon blocks.

New protocols identify solar cell failures during production

Two new pass/fail protocols are said to be able to separate cells which present high hot-spot possibility, show high current leakage and demonstrate intermediate behavior. The sorting technique relies on a manual solar simulator, an infrared camera and a tool to measure isolation.

pv magazine video: Higher yields are possible

The first session of the pv magazine Virtual Roundtables Europe on June 9 showed that the performance of PV arrays can be boosted with effective measures – proving it’s more than just theoretical. The evaluation of a portfolio of 70 plants prompted a performance boost of 8.4%. The video of the event is now online.

Premature inverter failure – 4.2 GW of capacity will be affected this year, says analyst

U.S.-owned business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie has attempted to evaluate the market opportunities offered by the repowering of solar projects around the world which feature inverters which are 10 years old – as well as those which will expire ahead of time.

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